Cameroon flag Cameroon: Economic outline

Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

With a strategic location that makes the country a natural gateway into the landlocked region of Central Africa (including Chad, Central African Republic, and northern Congo), Cameroon is undoubtedly an influential country in the economic and monetary community of the region. After the Covid-19 pandemic-led recession in 2020, GDP growth rebounded, supported by the non-oil sector recovery and the general global economic recovery and reached 3.8% in 2022 and 4% in 2023 (IMF). In 2024, economic expansion should be fueled by the increase in liquefied natural gas production and heightened mining output, while the decline in oil production will persist due to the maturation of existing oilfields. The IMF forecasts growth at 4.2% this year and 4.4% in 2025.

The fiscal improvements initiated in 2021 are expected to extend into 2024. The IMF-approved program, including an Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) totaling USD 689.5 million over 3 years, is progressively being implemented by the government. This includes initiatives to broaden the tax base and boost revenue. A disbursement of USD 73.6 million was approved in July 2023, bringing the total disbursed amount to USD 493.6 million. Through measures such as reducing fuel subsidies (from 3.7% of GDP in 2022 to 2.6% in 2023) and other forthcoming actions, the program aims to free up budgetary resources for productive investments and social expenditures. Fitch Ratings estimated a budget deficit of 0.8% of GDP last year, which should remain broadly stable at 0.7% in 2024 and 0.8% in 2025. According to the IMF, the general government debt, inclusive of guarantees, arrears, and SONARA debt (equivalent to 2.6% of GDP), is anticipated to decline to 37.2% in 2025 from its level of 45.5% of GDP at the end of 2022, thanks to robust economic growth and moderate fiscal deficits. Inflationary pressures, primarily driven in 2023 by food prices and the reduction in fuel subsidies, resulting in a 15% increase in pump prices, are expected to slightly ease in 2024 due to the decline in global agricultural prices. However, inflation is projected to remain above the 3% target set by the BCEAC, despite the monetary tightening policy adopted by the latter (at 4.8% in 2024).

Despite the rather satisfying economic performances of the country, poverty affects nearly 40% of the population. The Covid-19 crisis increased the extreme poverty rate, which represents around a quarter of the population (World Bank). Because the poverty reduction rate is lagging behind the population growth rate, the overall number of poor in Cameroon increased, and poverty is increasingly concentrated in the North and Far North (World Bank). In 2022, the unemployment rate in the country stood at 3.8% (World Bank, ILO estimate). Nevertheless, according to a 2023 report from INS, the unemployment rate among young graduates (25 to 35 years) is 5 times higher than that of non-schooled individuals.

 
Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 44.3249.2652.9856.7960.23
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 3.84.04.24.44.5
GDP per Capita (USD) 1,5881,7221,8071,8911,958
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 45.541.939.637.235.7
Inflation Rate (%) n/a7.24.83.02.3
Current Account (billions USD) -0.80-1.27-1.28-1.26-1.50
Current Account (in % of GDP) -1.8-2.6-2.4-2.2-2.5

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, 2016

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
CFA Franc BEAC (XAF) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 GBP 800.68749.15741.42732.38737.93

Source: World Bank, 2015

 

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Latest Update: March 2024

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